Quiz Show (1994)


Starring: Rob Morrow, Ralph Fiennes, John Turturro, David Paymer, Paul Scofield, Hank Azaria, Christopher McDonald, Mira Sorvino, Martin Scorsese

Director: Robert Redford

Summary: A blue-blood academic gets swept up in the quiz show scandals of the 1950’s

Other Nominations: Director, Supporting Actor (Scofield), Adapted Screenplay

Well-made but nothing special. The movie brings up a lot of themes on things like race (Jews and Gentiles), class and monied elites being protected by the system but I wouldn’t say it does any of them exceptionally well; I will say I liked how the film presented the motivations of the two main contestants (played by Fiennes and Turturro) and how it was about them being a “somebody”, Charles Van Doren trying to get out of his father’s shadow and impress him, Herbert Stempel wanting respect. I also liked Turturro’s performance a lot and he’s always good playing characters who are just sort of “off” in some way without being full-on “crazy.” Everything is very polished and there’s nothing particularly negative I have to say about it, but for me it was a”n one ear, out the other” type of movie.

Rating: B-


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